The regulation of the bacterial exoproteolytic activity, at natural substrate concentrations, was studied during the survey of an Atlantic coastal marine pond (France). The regulation of this activity occurs at two different levels: on the one hand, at the cellular level, the ectoenzyme synthesis is regulated by hydrolysis substrates, dissolved combined amino acids (DCAA), and end products, dissolved free amino acids (DFAA), in terms of the relative amounts available to the cell, and on the other hand, at the ecosystem level, i.e. the hydrolytic activity, by the total amounts of DCAA and DFAA in situ. The DFAA acts as an inhibitor in enzymatic synthesis; in contrast, dissolved proteins induce the enzymatic synthesis and the exoproteolytic activitiy. These results, obtained in natural concentration conditions, confirm the functioning in situ of the ectoenzymatic activity regulation model of Chrost until now only validated in an enriched experimental medium.
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